Need advise about making a solid walnut front door.

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 11-29-2017 03:27 PM 1604 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3105 posts in 3404 days

11-29-2017 03:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut wood door

Guys I’m thinking of making a solid walnut front door. I purchased some walnut from a small local mill about 4 years ago and I’d like to get it out of my shop, it takes up too much room.
This walnut is 5/4 and smooth and flat with some beauty marks. It’s from a record walnut here in KC and I got the primary crotch pieces.
So my question is this. Would you make the door 5/4 or would you layer the walnut to 2.5’” thick. I thought about how I’d do it, but the only thing that comes to mind is to glue it with some buscuits or even large dowells.

How would you do it?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

7 replies so far

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

554 posts in 4116 days

#1 posted 11-29-2017 07:14 PM

Hi Russel,

I can’t possibly provide any sage wisdom for your delemma. But if you want me to stop by and help you get that lousy walnut out of your workshop, I’m up for a roadtrip.


View Loren's profile


11208 posts in 4766 days

#2 posted 11-29-2017 10:12 PM

Google “stave core door”.

View John's profile


246 posts in 2699 days

#3 posted 11-29-2017 10:15 PM

An entry door os typically 1.75 up to 2.25. If you go thinner you will have issues finding hardware.

An old timer once told me the reason doors are that thick is because the panels are actually two seperate panels inside and outside that aren’t glued together, so as to facilitate wood movement with the differences in temperature inside and out.
I dont know how true that is but it makes sense to me, and I intend to do just that when i finally get around to doing my front door.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View pintodeluxe's profile


6407 posts in 3931 days

#4 posted 11-29-2017 10:32 PM

Here’s what I did…

Mortise and tenon construction with two layers of 5/4 lumber. It finished out at 1-3/4” thick, which is standard for entry doors.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View John's profile


246 posts in 2699 days

#5 posted 11-29-2017 10:46 PM

He’s right. I was thinking commercial doors. Most are 1.75 with some up to 2.25. A typical house door is 1 3/8 with exterior doors at 1 3/4

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6630 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 11-29-2017 10:57 PM

It sounds to me like he asking about making a solid slab door. But, who knows with the lack if information in his post.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Knockonit's profile


849 posts in 1320 days

#7 posted 11-29-2017 11:45 PM

i built a large 42’’ wide x 7 ft tall for my joint, used a marine plywood core, then layered each side with some knotty alder i milled to tongue and groove, each side of door has a different pattern, even put a speak easy window in it.
Door is about 2.5 inches in thickness, i used 4 4.5’’ ball bearing hinges, with ball catches for latch it to a 5/4 alder frame with approximately 1 ft sidelights, all frame and misc. out of knotty alder, threshold is out of red oak. door unit has a transom over it at about 1 ft or so,
door here in arizona has stayed extremely stable, love the ball catches, the hold it closed securely, has a fancy handle entry set the ole gal picked out. In the speak easy window, i put two twisted wrought iron bars for looks, the inside has a small door for speak easy, kinda not finished yet,

if i had to do over, i might use a rickson pivot, did that on another clients door and wow, wow, what a easy open and close, a breeze can move it.

good luck with the build, i’ve a mesquite one in the works for first of year, gonna be a monster 9 ft tall, and almost 5 wide, gonna be a dandy, just need me four men and twent y boys to move it around.

again looking good

-- Living the dream

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